Archive for the 'Commissionaires' Category



The PSAC has won a certification under the BC Labour Code for a group of Commissionaires working at the Ministry of Children and Family Development in Victoria. These members will become part of DCL Local 20500, and will be covered by the Island Commissionaires Collective Agreement. Welcome!

Airport bird-control officers unionize, employer loses work contract

Vancouver International Airport declined to renew a long-standing contract to keep birds off its runways shortly after employees joined a union, and instead awarded the new contract to a non-union company without going to public tender.

Airport representative Rebecca Catley said Thursday the bird-control contract went to Airport Wildlife Management International without public tender due to a “short time-line” to find a replacement after the airport decided not to renew its annual contract with Commissionaires B.C.

The airport says it chose not to accept the commissionaires’ request last October for a 29-per-cent cost increase shortly after about a dozen wildlife control officers joined the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees.

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Members of local 20501 Mainland Commissionaires have ratified an agreement with the Corps. The agreement in a five year deal that will see wage increases in each year. The wages negotiated will begin to bring the members into line with the type of work they perform, which is enforcement.

It is now up to Corps management to contact CBSA, in an effort to get the members back on the job as soon as possible. The Corps has also agreed to bid on the new contract expected out in late January or early February.

Everyone worked very hard to reach this agreement and the members are to be congratulated on their solidarity.
The Seal Cove members are holding a ratification vote today January 12, on a new tentative agreement.

Mainland Commissionaires Direct Charter Local 20501 have reached two tentative agreements on Thursday evening January 8, 2009.   These members work at Canadian Border Services Agency locations in Vancouver at the Canadian Coast Guard Base in Seal Cove, Prince Rupert.

Ratification votes will be conducted For the CBSA Group on Sunday January 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Vancouver Regional Office,  Suite 200 – 5238 Joyce Street.  The Ratification votes for the CCG Seal Cove , members will be on Monday January 12, 2009 at the Coast Hotel,  between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

The two sides met on December 30 with the aid of a federal conciliator. By the end of the day we had tentative deals for both the Seal Cove Commissionaires and the CBSA members. The deal is yet to be ratified and it is hoped we can conduct meetings in the next few weeks.

small-00-dsc_0026The union met with Corps management to attempt to finalize negotiations for a collective agreement with our CBSA members. Talks took place with the aid of a federal mediator, but by the end of the day it was clear the employer was dragging their heels. However as there are very few clauses left to agree on it was decided to reconvene on Dec 30th.

We are hopeful that we will have a deal on the 30th. If we do manage to get a settlement the Corps have agreed to ask CBSA to lift there suspension which will mean we get back to work.

Union picketing starts Friday after Commissionaires BC locks out security workers responsible for guarding dangerous prisoners at Immigration and Refugee Board, Vancouver International Airport for Canada Border Service Agency over “blue jeans” one-day protest

VANCOUVER – Unionized security guards will begin picketing federal offices Friday morning after Commissionaires BC locked out workers who guard and escort dangerous prisoners at Vancouver International Airport and the downtown Vancouver Immigration & Refugee Board facilities.

The lockout came after 40 Commissionaires BC security guards wore blue jeans to work as a one-day protest against failure of their employer to negotiate a first contract that addressed the guards’ safety concerns, says Dave Thompson, representative of the workers’ union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

“Commissionaires BC is acting outrageously by locking out security guards with years of experience who provide safety for the public because they wore jeans to work after trying to negotiate a contract for months without any progress,” Thompson said.

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On Monday our members working at the Canada Border Services Agency for the Corps of Commissionaires were locked out. After taking strike action in the form of wearing jeans to work, our members were locked out when the Corps of Commissionaires advised the CBSA that they were no longer in a position to provide services.

The CBSA suspended the contract with the Corps for 3 months and hired another security firm known as Genesis to perform the work. In the meantime our members continue to be locked out.

The 40 Commissionaries, members of the PSAC, working on contract to the Canada Boarder Services Agency at Library Square and the Vancouver International Airport served 72 hour strike notice on November 27, 2008.

It’s about safety according to Rob Hellenius President of Local 20501 Mainland Commissionaires. “We have been forced to perform unsafe work, escorting dangerous detainees around the country without proper safety equipment or training and the Corps of Commissionaires refuse to acknowledge their responsibility for ensuring our safety on the job. This is one of the key reasons we joined the PSAC.”

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source: Vancouver Sun, Wednesday Nov 26

They sometimes escort suspected killers, drug dealers and terrorists from jail to hearings and even out of the country, but they have no weapons or bulletproof vests.

Concern over their safety is a big reason commissionaires contracted to the Canada Border Service Agency planned to serve strike notice today, union official Dave Thompson said.

The 40 or so guards who work at CBSA jails at the airport and Vancouver’s Library Square could be off the job by Sunday, said Thompson, of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

The security specialists, who look after those detained for being in Canada illegally, technically work for the Corps of Commissionaires, a non-profit company formed to employ former servicemen after the Second World War.

But they are looking after the same inmates who are arrested by CBSA enforcement officers or police officers who are fully armed and wear body armour, Thompson said.

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Strike Vote Meeting of the PSAC Lower Mainland Commissionaires DCL 20501

  • October 2, 2008 – 7:00 PM – 9:00PM
  • Canadian Airways Lodge 764, 7980 River Road, Richmond BC
  • Agenda: Strike Vote, Current update

For more info please call Garry Fraser at (604) 430 5631

General Meeting of the PSAC Lower Mainland Commissionaires DCL 20501

  • September 25, 2008 | 7:00 PM – 9:00PM
  • Canadian Airways Lodge 764, 7980 River Road, Richmond BC
  • Agenda: Status of negotiations, Current update

For more info please call Garry Fraser at (604) 430 5631

After of full day of negotiations, with the aid of a Federal Conciliator, the Corp. refused to recognize the need for a wage package that reflects the type of work performed by our members. The bargaining team worked very hard to present a package of proposals to the Corp that addressed the wishes of the members and addressed many of the Corps concerns.

At the end of the day the Corp chose to walk away from the table. It is clear to the team that the Corp does not recognize the nature of the work performed by the members and is unwilling to take steps to provide adequate remuneration.

We will be holding an information meeting in the immediate future with the time and location to be announced. Watch the website for that update.

On Friday Sept 12 the bargaining team met with employer with the aid of a Federal Government appointed conciliator. The team spent the day working with the aid of the conciliator, the result of which was a global offer from the employer.

We will be reviewing the offer this week and responding to the employer with a counter offer at the next round of conciliation scheduled for Friday, September 19th.

Conciliation proceedings are set to begin September 12, 2008, in Vancouver.

Mainland Commissionaires met with their bargaining team & PSAC staff on September 10th

Mainland Commissionaires met with their bargaining team & PSAC staff on September 10th

Negotiations between the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the British Columbia Corps of Commissionaires will resume on September 12, 2008, with the assistance of a Conciliation Officer. The Union had filed a notice of dispute on August 21, 2008, following the cancellation of bargaining dates by the employer. The employer had also previously imposed an arbitrary deadline of September 30th to reach an agreement with the Union.

Members of this bargaining unit perform work on behalf of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) at Library Square and the Vancouver International Airport. These negotiations are for a first collective agreement for this unit.

The PSAC has applied for Conciliation on August 21, 2008.

At the last session with the BC Corps of Commissionaires held on July 7 and 8, 2008, the parties had tentatively agreed to continue negotiations on August 20 and 22, 2008. These dates were confirmed on August 2, 2008. However, the employer subsequently denied leave to a member of the bargaining team, preventing him to attend the meeting and these dates were cancelled.

These negotiations, for a first collective agreement, included two (2) bargaining units: approximately 40 Commissionaires performing work on behalf of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) at Library Square and the Vancouver International Airport and 8 Commissionaires performing work on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Seal Cove Coast Guard Base in Prince Rupert.

The application for Conciliation affects the CBSA unit only. The Seal Cove unit falls under different legislation. Therefore, the parties will now be negotiating the two (2) agreements separately.

A couple of months ago, the employer announced they had been notified by CBSA that their contract would end on March 31, 2009, and that a public bid would happen sometime this fall. The employer then imposed an arbitrary deadline for reaching an agreement with the Union. If a deal was in place by September 30th, the employer would be bidding on the work. If such a deal was not in place, the employer would not be bidding on the work. The Union is still hopeful that, with the assistance of a Conciliation Officer, an agreement is still possible.

We are currently in the process of scheduling membership meetings. More information will be provided at that time.

The last negotiation session with the BC Corps of Commissionaires was held on July 7 and 8, 2008. Although progress is slow, the parties reached agreement and signed off on a couple articles:

  • Job Descriptions – contained in the Post Orders and shall reflect the duties and responsibilities expected of the employees;
  • Professional Membership, Registration and Licenses Fees – employer to pay for periodic refresher training to maintain First Aid and CPR certificates and will reimburse employees for any other certificate and/or license required for the employee’s position, as determined by the employer;

Discussions were also held regarding the following issues:

  • Definitions and Interpretation
  • Information
  • Discrimination and Harassment
  • Leave With or Without Pay for Union Business
  • Other Leave With or Without Pay
  • Layoff and Recall
  • Seniority
  • Pay Administration

With the employer representatives not being available until the end of August, the next negotiation meeting with the employer has been scheduled for August 20, 2008.

These negotiations, for a first collective agreement, include two (2) bargaining units: approximately 40 Commissionaires performing work on behalf of the Canadian Border Services Agency at Library Square and the Vancouver International Airport and 8 Commissionaires performing work on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Seal Cove Coast Guard Base in Prince Rupert.

Your bargaining team met with the BC Corps of Commissionaires on June 17 and 18, 2008. The parties reached agreement on a few articles and signed off the following articles (summary only):

  • Union Recognition – recognition of the PSAC, by the employer, as the exclusive bargaining agent for the employees identified in the bargaining certificate;
  • Joint Consultation Committee - process and some parameters regarding discussions between the parties on matters of common interest;
  • Technological Change – reference to relevant legislation and commitment to meet to discuss any effect it will have on employees, with a view to minimizing such effects;
  • Court Appearances – reimbursement for wages lost due to a court appearance when serving as a subpoenaed witness;
  • Leave to Vote – in accordance with the relevant statutes.

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Collective bargaining with the BC Corps of Commissionaires resumed May 29 and 30, 2008. Some of the issues discussed include:

  • Management Rights
  • Union Recognition
  • Bargaining Unit Work
  • Job Security
  • Union Representatives
  • Use of Client Facilities
  • Employee Orientation
  • Union Dues and Membership
  • Information
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Leave With or Without Pay for Union Business
  • Seniority
  • Grievance and Arbitration Procedure
  • Technological Change

Although some progress was made during those two (2) days of negotiations, no articles were signed off. These negotiations, for a first collective agreement, include two (2) bargaining units: approximately 40 Commissionaires performing work on behalf of the Canadian Border Services Agency at Library Square and the Vancouver International Airport and 8 Commissionaires performing work on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Seal Cove Coast Guard Base in Prince Rupert.

Information sessions with the membership are planned to be held shortly. The next meeting with the employer is scheduled for June 17 and 18, 2008.

Your Bargaining Team met with the BC Corps of Commissionaires on April 24 and 25, 2008.

This was the first meeting of the parties following the exchange of bargaining proposals on February 27, 2008. These negotiations, for a first collective agreement, include two (2) bargaining units: approximately 40 Commissionaires performing work on behalf of the Canadian Border Services Agency at Library Square and the Vancouver International Airport and 8 Commissionaires performing work on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Seal Cove Coast Guard Base in Prince Rupert.

The following issues were discussed:

  • Purpose and Scope of the Collective Agreement
  • Management Rights
  • Definitions and Interpretations
  • Union Recognition
  • Union Representatives
  • Use of Client Facilities
  • Union Dues and Membership
  • Information
  • Leave With or Without Pay for Union Business

Although some progress was made during those two (2) days of negotiations, no articles were signed off. The next meeting has been tentatively set for May 29 and 30, 2008.




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